University exam preparation tips: How to do well in exams ✍

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Have upcoming exams to prepare for over the Christmas holidays? If you’re feeling apprehensive about your exams, whether they’re your first ever university exams or they’re your important final year exams, we’ve put together helpful tips for preparing for exams and how to do well in exams!

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The importance of preparing for exams

Solid preparation before your exams, is key to doing well and impressing an examiner. No matter what course you are studying for, it’s crucial that you revise your syllabus, go over relevant work and prepare for the structure of your exam.

This will all help you get into the right headspace going into your exam, and allow you to confidently bring in your knowledge to a paper and complete it to the best of your abilities.

Many graduate jobs require at least a 2.1 degree, so it’s important to make sure all your time studying is worth it and you perform as well as you can in your exams to help you in the future when it comes to applying to graduate jobs.


If you’re looking for exam help and exam tips and tricks, keep reading for actionable ways to prepare in the right ways for your exam:


1. Structure your revision period and prioritise your work

The first and one of the most important steps to preparing for an exam, is to structure the time you have until your exam and prioritise your workload. If you have multiple exams, it’s a good idea to divide your time equally and know when you’re working on each subject. Prioritise your first exam and make sure to complete your revision first for this subject.

It’s also a good idea to review subjects and individual modules and ask yourself which ones am I most unsure on and find the most difficult? These are the ones you want to prioritise and spend the most time going over.

It’s useful to create a weekly or daily timetable to break your workload into manageable chucks and ensure that you’re on track with your revision.


2. Organise your workspace and set boundaries

Tidy life tidy mind! This exam tip may sound obvious, but decluttering your workspace and having a dedicated space to studying can really boost your focus. As many students studying in 2020 are confined to studying in their own bedrooms and student accommodation, it’s even more important to ensure you have a clean and tidy space where you feel you can really concentrate.

Another useful tip is to set a time that you’ll work each day, and once you’ve finished working, put your books, laptop away so you’re not constantly thinking about work.

After you’ve finished revising for the day, go on a walk, do an activity you enjoy, this will help you switch off from work and set useful boundaries to help you stay motivated.


3. Take regular breaks to stay motivated

It’s really important to make sure you’re taking regular breaks when studying. Working solidly each day without a break is likely to see you burn out and find you’re not effectively taking in information when you revise.

The Pomodoro Timer is a useful app that sets times for when you should work and when you should take breaks, helping to structure your day and remind you to take a break.


4. Get familiar with the structure of the exam

One of the most effective ways to prepare for the exam is to practice the past paper questions as much as you can. This will help you get familiar with the structure of the exam and not panic when opening the paper on the day.

Ask your module lecturer for past papers if these are available and visit them in their office hours if you are still unsure on how the exam is structed.

Then practice completing past paper questions in the given time you’ll have for your exam, this will help you know how long to spend on each question and any changes you need to make on the day.


5. Plan your exam day

Exams can be stressful, so to ensure you’re calm and not rushing around on the day it’s beneficial to make sure you know the important logistics. Make sure you know the exam time, location and have packed all the essential items you’ll need the evening before.

Many exams can go on for a long amount of time, so it’s important to eat a large balanced meal before to ensure you have enough energy to keep you going – and won’t have to fear awkward stomach gurgles!


6. Tips for preparing for an online exam

A university exam in 2020 is different from any other year, with many exams now online. Make sure you know how to access your online exam, the date you can access is and any passwords you’ll need.

It’s also important to ensure all your technology works, from your computer, chargers and wifi, so you won’t run into any problems on the day.


Exam time can be a stressful and nerve wracking period, but Implement these top exam tips to confidently ace your exams and see all your hard work pay off!

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